Kansas State University, College of Business Administration
Source: Kansas State University, College of Business Administration

Did you know the MBA has been around for well over a century? While historic, its teachings are anything but dated. Due to ever-growing diversity among business aspirants — in terms of backgrounds and career goals — programmes and the business schools are evolving.

Furthermore, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought forth technological advances many never thought would be possible, such as autonomous transport, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, machine learning, biotechnology and more. While we don’t know what else will emerge in the future, we know for a fact it will change the way we live and work. Some jobs will disappear, others will transform, and some that are currently unheard of will become commonplace.

The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for business leaders across the globe to drive organisations from one that reacts, to one that anticipates, and prepares for the future. MBA graduates are viewed as assets capable of enabling these businesses to stand out from the pack in the competitive world of business — thanks to the relevant exposure they received from their programmes. If you’re looking to become one of them, here are four MBA programmes that are both forward-thinking and incredibly rewarding:

Kansas State University, College of Business Administration

Kansas State University, College of Business Administration

Source: Kansas State University, College of Business Administration

Located in Manhattan, Kansas, also known as “The Little Apple,” the Kansas State University College of Business Administration (CBA) is home to 122 aspiring C-suite leaders and entrepreneurs on a path to success.

The college, among the less than 5% of institutions worldwide to hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation, boasts a reputation for excellence. From listing among the top 30 business schools industries love to hire from, to graduates who enjoy a 97% job placement rate —  there are many reasons why the college is trusted by both aspirants and industries.

Comprehensive, engaging, and accessible — the Professional MBA Online programme is a top pick. Ranked 35th in the nation by the US News & World Report, this programme stands out for its high standards and equally high flexibility for professionals to achieve a world-class qualification at their own pace. Courses span eight weeks, and there are five start dates to choose from: January, March, June, August and October.

Apart from gaining a competitive edge upon completion, joining this programme comes with a suite of unique advantages. Faculty members provide personalised attention and lead an annual international trip. This is complemented by a career services team that assists in securing job placement and mentorship opportunities.

An unrivalled, robust programme, it is also enviably economical — with an inclusive tuition price that absorbs the costs of textbooks and course materials. Additionally, GMAT and application fee waivers are available, as well as a range of scholarships.

For those concerned about missing out on the full MBA experience, students and professionals can take comfort in knowing that they will be guided online by the same experts conducting lessons on campus. Furthermore, this MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime chance that allows students to join an impressive network of alumni that double as well-reputed industry leaders. Interested? Learn more here.

Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management

Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management

Source: Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management

The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University focuses on equipping students with the skills to thrive in the digital future, according to dean Eugene Anderson. Through several distinctive measures it provides students with the best of both worlds — prioritising individualised training through small class sizes, while utilising every resource available at its large campus.

Additionally, it boasts an MBA programme that motivates current and aspiring leaders to dig further into digitalisation, data analytics, Big Data and soft skill development. “We are putting in new courses and programming that help develop more agile, innovative and resilient graduates. A key pedagogical approach is the use of experiential learning — hands-on campus or on-site projects with companies — to give students the opportunity to develop real-world skills,” shares Anderson.

Enrolees design their own paths, choosing up to two from a list of seven comprehensive specializations: accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, finance, marketing management, real estate, or supply chain management. The MBA is AACSB-accredited.

Diversity is a priority here. With a large university like Syracuse, there are always opportunities to bounce ideas and collaborate with multiple points of view, life experiences, ethnicities, cultures and belief systems.

“Domestically, we are finding that technology companies are most interested in hiring internationally diverse talent, so being in a global environment helps open doors for our students,” explains Anderson.

These doors often lead to success. Notable employers of Syracuse graduates include Crane Worldwide Logistics, Novelis, Discover, Ernst & Young, Google, Facebook, Fedex, Amazon, and Tesla. Ready to receive an education that prepares you to lead in the global business environment of today and tomorrow? Find out more here.

UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Source: UCLA, Anderson School of Management

At UCLA Anderson, their mission is to transform management thinking and to prepare future leaders for lives of significance and evolving careers in ever-changing organisations and  markets. This has been the mission since their founding in 1935, and it is still relevant today in 2021.

Their MBA was designed to equip aspirants to create impact at their career destination. Not only is it customisable, it is also flexible and experiential — granting unparalleled access to organisations both regionally and globally. Located in sunny Southern California, students are in charge here — deciding which classes they need more or less of. To go alongside this, they receive the top-of-the-line preparation they need to excel professionally both before and after they graduate. 

Among the top 20 business schools in the world, UCLA Anderson was voted #1 by the Economist for its career services. The Parker Career Management Centre  connects learners to the companies they admire.These advisors work directly with top recruiters from Amazon, Microsoft, Deloitte, Google, Mattel, Nike, and Adobe — amongst many more. 

UNC Kenan Flagler Business School

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Source: UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

They join as MBA students. They emerge as ambitious, principled leaders focused on the bottom line and the greater good. At UNC Kenan-Flagler, students tailor powerful coursework to match their objectives in a

The faculty members who deliver this programme are world-class researchers and industry experts, renowned for their inspiring teaching style and accessibility. A career services team helps enrollees evaluate their goals before connecting them with employers and navigating opportunities beyond graduation — when they go on to join a global network of over 37,000 alumni in 80 countries.

To top it off, UNC Kenan-Flagler offers a STEM-designated concentration in business analytics and management science to prepare MBA graduates to use analytics to lead companies. It equips you to make strategic data-driven business decisions across vital industries including energy, fintech, and healthcare.

Here, international students, who make up 8% of the school’s student body, are given the chance to enjoy a three-year Optional Practice Training (OPT) period once they graduate. This allows them to apply their newly-acquired analytical toolkits to succeed in the competitive US market. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International